Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver

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March 2019 issue of RCC News is here

March 2019 RCC News

Spring is almost here!

This issue of the RCC News is full of the many wonderful people, events and programs happening in our neighbourhood.

Get your latest issue of the RCC News at your local coffee shop, grocery store, library and community centre.

Or click on the cover image to view the new issue.

In this issue:

  • Gendered Voices: New series at Italian Cultural Centre explores gender and traditional social roles
  • Collingwood Corner: Rupert and Kingsway, 1947
  • Eco-art at Slocan Park: Still Moon Arts returns as artist-in-residence
  • Neighbourhood Small Grants – Apply by April 9
  • MOSAIC helps refugees find work
  • The Other Guy’s Opinion: On artificial intelligence
  • March Nutrition Month 2019: Unlock the Potential of Food

Do you have a local story to tell or an event to share? We’d love to hear about it! Email

The deadline for the April 2019 issue is March 10. We welcome story submissions from 300 to 400 words long. Accompanying photos must be high resolution in a jpg file at least 1 MB large and include a photo caption and the name of the photographer.

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Slocan Park notice board keeps community connected

Local artists create a gorgeous salmon-shaped bulletin board with the help of a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation


This beautiful salmon-shaped bulletin board, hanging on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, is an invitation for neighbours to connect with each other.

This beautiful salmon-shaped bulletin board, hanging on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, is an invitation for neighbours to connect with each other. Photo courtesy of Rob Howatson

When it comes to community building, you can never have too many bulletin boards to help spread the word about upcoming neighbourhood events.

Problem is, aside from libraries and community centres, the city offers few legal spaces to display notices. There are about 200 or so municipality-approved poster cylinders – metal bands that wrap utility poles – located in the city, but they tend to be restricted to the busiest arterials. And, as the Vancouver Public Space Network points out in a letter to Mayor Robertson’s Engaged City Task Force, commercial poster companies quickly and repeatedly blanket these word rings with their paid advertising. This leaves little room for neighbours to tape up their block party invites.

Fortunately, some community-minded Renfrew-Collingwood residents have found a way to provide at least a little space for grassroots notices. Local artists Carmen Rosen and Suzo Hickey applied for a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation to create a gorgeous bulletin board shaped like a chum salmon. The functional art piece hangs on the wall of the Slocan Park Field House, an effective location given its proximity to the busy 29th Avenue Skytrain station.

Suzo says they chose a fish shape for the piece in recognition of Still Creek that used to flow through Vancouver’s eastside until much of the waterway was culverted in the early 1900s. Sections of the creek still run on the surface in the Renfrew Ravine, near the Grandview Highway and in Burnaby. In 2012, a record number of chum found their way up the creek to spawn, despite the fact that until recently the creek was considered one of the most polluted streams in B.C. and little fish activity had been reported there in the past 50 years.

“This project was a great way to share local history with the neighbourhood,” says Suzo, “but more importantly we invited area residents to help decorate the notice board’s fishy frame with steel washers, copper washers and bottlecaps. And in doing so, we provided a  great opportunity for people to meet and share experiences, which I think is the best way to build community.”

The eye-catching bulletin board is managed by the Art House in the Field Collective, which uses the Slocan Park field house as studio space for visual art classes, costume design, music and photography.

Neighbourhood Small Grants Project – Application deadline April 7, 2014

Collingwood Neighbourhood House has once again partnered with South Vancouver Neighbourhood House to host the Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants project this year. Pairs or small groups of residents are encouraged to apply for a grant from $50 to $1,000 to improve your neighbourhood socially, culturally or physically!

Please go to  for more information and to apply. All applicants are encouraged to apply online. If you cannot apply online, paper applications can be picked up at the Neighbourhood House beginning in March 2014. Online application opens on March 3, 2014. Application deadline is April 7. For further information contact Sheri Parke at or reception at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 604-435-0323.

Copyright (c) 2014 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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Artists bring people together at Slocan Park


A group of artists has a new home to meet and share their work with the Renfrew-Collingwood community. The group, called the Art House in the Field Collective, will turn the empty caretaker’s suite in Slocan Park field house into a hub of arts activity as part of an artist-in-residency program sponsored by the Vancouver Park Board.

The community and local artists have been involved in the development of Slocan Park for many years, notes January Wolodarsky, one of the artists in the collective and the director of community development at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

“Suddenly a neighbourhood that had no dedicated space for arts activity, and has worked so hard on community-engaged art, now has this wonderful place,” she says.

“I’m really excited about the possibilities that come out of the field house. The neighbourhood will really benefit.”

Everyone is welcome. “If you have a creative skill, you’re welcome to come out and share. If you want to come out and find out what’s going on, you’re welcome to participate.”

Artists like Yoko Tomita and Alexis Macdonald Seto, of the Renfrew Collingwood Multicultural Artist Network; Carmen Rosen, of Still Moon Arts; and Jolene Andrew, of the local Aboriginal Youth Canoe Club, plan to offer community workshops in lantern making, felting, visual arts, costume design and carving, among others.

A welcoming tradition – Building Community through Cultural Expression

This new home for local arts is the latest achievement coming out of a vibrant multicultural arts scene that, you could say, started from a scraped knee and a longing to feel at home more than 15 years ago.

In summer 1997, January Wolodarsky was comforting her daughter, Tuedon, who had just tumbled onto the concrete near the wading pool at Slocan Park. A newcomer from Japan, where she worked as an environmental artist, January couldn’t help but think of ways to create more welcoming spaces in the park.

January brought her ideas to Collingwood Neighbourhood House, where then-executive director Paula Carr stitched together residents and artists to lead the project Building Community through Cultural Expression.

The project launched a community-driven plan to renew Slocan Park, eventually leading to the Duchess Walkway, the covered area and field house renovations. It also started the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News and the Aboriginal Youth Canoe Club.

Celebration artist Carmen Rosen received a warm welcome soon after she moved to the neighbourhood on Christmas Eve, 1999. “Within the first month, January came over and asked me what I was passionate about.” Carmen recalls. “I was supported from the very first moment I moved in.”

Carmen talked about a seasonal cycle of celebrations and, within six months, she organized her first celebration in Slocan Park as part of the Building Community project. She would go on to create the annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, which has drawn thousands of participants for the past 10 years.

This new Slocan Park artist in residency continues this tradition of bringing people together through art and helping newcomers express their creativity and feel like they belong. For more information, go to

Julie Cheng was a founding member of Building Community through Cultural Expression and is currently the editor of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

© Copyright (c) 2012 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News